Barbie is making history with its first doll wearing a hijab, the brand announced today. The new doll is the newest addition to the brand’s annual Shero program, which honors admirable women and their achievements. This year’s honoree is fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to compete in the Olympics while wearing a hijab. The athlete posed with her mini-me on Barbie’s Instagram today.
“We are so excited to honor @IbtihajMuhammad with a one-of-a-kind #Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries,” the brand wrote in the caption.
Muhammad’s doll will be available for purchase in 2018.
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The Olympic fencer, 31, celebrated to the news on Instagram as well.
“I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!” she wrote in her caption. “This is a childhood dream come true 😭💘 #shero”
Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie Shero family! The Barbie Shero Program recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls and I am so excited to join this incredible group of women. I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true 😭💘 #shero
Muhammad unveiled her Barbie during Glamour’s Woman of the Year live summit in Brooklyn, New York.
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“Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out,” Sejal Shah Miller, Barbie’s vice-president of marketing, told Bustle in a statement. “Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented. By honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything.”
This is the latest of Barbie’s boundary-breaking dolls in an effort to become more inclusive in recent years. Last year, the brand famously introduced new dolls in three different body types to reflect real women and girls, in diverse skin tones, eye colors, hair styles, and face shapes.
Prior to Muhammad’s doll, the option of dressing Barbies in hijabs were scant. “Hijarbie” creator Haneefa Adam made headlines earlier this year for dressing up Barbies in hand-made hijabs and modest clothing to make them more relatable for Muslim girls who dressed the same way. The company Hello Hijab also gained notice for making doll-sized hijabs to get children “accustomed to seeing headscarves in order to help fight stigma.”
Now, Muhammad’s doll means play time is a lot more inclusive—and the comments on Barbie’s Instagram announcement prove that the people are loving it.
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From: Harper’s BAZAAR US